An Istanbul court yesterday confirmed that Japanese national Sekai Mori is indeed the daughter of late Turkish weightlifter Naim Süleymanoğlu.
The body of Süleymanoğlu, who died last November, was exhumed in July after Mori filed a paternity lawsuit. She has claimed that Süleymanoğlu had met her mother Kyoko Mori, a Japanese journalist, at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The Fourth Family Court approved the paternity test done on Süleymanoğlu's body and ruled that sides can appeal to the verdict.
Esin and Sezin Süleymanoğlu, the two daughters of the weightlifter, were the plaintiffs in the case and their lawyer disputed the "rushed" paternity test and called the court to ask for another paternity test. The court rejected the plea. The result of the test means that Mori will receive a share of Süleymanoğlu's inheritance.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist died at the age of 50 on Nov. 18, 2017, days after he was admitted to an Istanbul hospital due to a liver failure caused by cirrhosis. The athlete, nicknamed "Pocket Hercules" due to his short stature, became a global star after setting six world records, winning three Olympic gold medals and out lifting the winner of the weight class above him at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. After winning the world championship in 1988, he retired at the age of 22. However, he returned in 1991 to win a second Olympic gold at Barcelona in 1992. In 2000 and 2004 he was inducted to the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was awarded the Olympic Order, the highest award of the Olympic movement. Süleymanoğlu is the only weightlifter in history to win gold medals in three different Olympics.